Each person feels lonely at some point in their life. Humans are social beings who depend on safe social environments to thrive. When this need is not satisfied, you feel lonely, which is a state of mind where you feel distressed by being alone and disconnected from the world around you. If this is your case, keep reading, because here, you will find 6 ways to deal with the loneliness that you could be experiencing. Remember that it can always be temporary.
Ways to treat loneliness so it doesn’t affect your health
You may have experienced the feeling of loneliness as a child, on the first day of school, or starting a new job; after a breakup, or sitting at home wishing someone would call you back.
Loneliness affects each person in different ways. However, most people do not realize the health consequences of loneliness when it becomes chronic.
1. Cardiovascular disease and stroke
New studies have found a direct biological link between loneliness and cardiovascular health. Some research has found that being lonely leads to hardening of the arteries (which causes high blood pressure), as well as an over-expression of genes. This creates long-term inflammation and damage to the blood vessels and tissues of the heart, increasing the risk of heart failure, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases.
2. Sleep disorders
Sleep and loneliness are closely correlated to the point that a small difference in loneliness can affect sleep. Those who are socially isolated may suffer from poor sleep quality and therefore have weaker restoration processes. This type of sleep disturbance can significantly affect the functioning of the daily life of a lonely person.
3. Weaker immune system
In current research, there is an increase in verification that psychosocial factors affect the immune system. In particular, loneliness has been shown to modulate immune processes by decreasing the activity of natural “killer cells” and increasing levels of circulating EBV antibodies. In short, loneliness can lower your immunity.
4.depression and suicide
Directionless loneliness can lead to depression, a feeling of unworthiness, hopelessness and a possible risk of suicide to escape from this situation. Social isolation can seriously affect mental health. Human beings have a need for social interaction, and when this is not met, we fall apart mentally and sometimes physically. This is a gateway to depression and even suicide.
5. Mental health conditions
In addition to depression, loneliness creates anxiety, paranoia, and panic attacks. As if these symptoms weren’t enough, researchers have also found that loneliness is associated with accelerated cognitive decline in older adults. Therefore, being alone can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s later in life.
Treat and prevent chronic loneliness
Being single, moving to a new city, or starting a new job can contribute to chronic loneliness, but there are many ways you can get out of this damaging mood if you find yourself going through it. These are some:
Recognize and understand loneliness
Recognize that feeling lonely is a state that you need to change. Pay attention to the effects loneliness has on your life, physically and mentally.
Know that being an introvert is no excuse for isolation. Yes, you need solitude to recharge your social batteries, but introverts need interaction for their well-being just as critically as any extrovert.
Connect or reconnect with family and friends
Don’t rely on social media to connect you. Call your loved ones and have visits. Find circles of people who share similar interests and values to you and develop quality relationships.
The way to meet people is by people watching. Incorporate outings into your schedule – for example, social functions, exercising in a park or gym, visiting friends, or even going to public places that you enjoy, such as libraries and gardens. Being around people in a public setting can help reduce loneliness.
Helping others is a wonderful way to empower yourself and connect with others. Choose a charity or organization that you would really like to support and sign up.
Animals are incredible companions and provide comfort and support during times of stress and isolation. Research has shown that people with minimal human support, but a high level of attachment to a pet, have less depression and loneliness.
To treat the health damage that chronic loneliness brings, try natural options like exercise to release endorphins (the “feel good” hormones), diet, acupuncture, and herbs.
Keep in mind that the cure for chronic loneliness lies in stopping the cycle of negative thinking that causes it in the first place. Self-reflection can help you recognize the source and work on it as you develop healthy social connections.
However, if loneliness and isolation are creating distress, it would be wise to discuss your concerns with a specialist.